Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We had Hoped

“Jesus himself drew near”, I love these words recorded in Luke 24:18. Jesus himself was close enough to Cleopas and his friend to invite himself into their conversation as they walked the
Emmaus Road
. I imagine there were many people on the road conversing as they walked so it didn’t seem strange that Jesus joined in asking what was on their minds.

Jesus’ question stopped them in their tracks and their disappointments spilled out:
  • Jesus of Nazareth was condemned to death.
  • Jesus was mighty in deed and word.
  • Jesus was crucified
  • We had hoped … (verse 21)
  • Besides all this … (verse 21)
  • Moreover ... (verse 22)
My guess is more poured from their lips as they candidly voiced their frustrations.

We know the next chapter; Cleopas and his friend were living in the reality of their current chapter. I identify. How easy it is to live with misplaced hope and dashed expectations because I’m living in the reality of my now. I quickly forget that God’s plans work themselves out in my yesterdays and in my tomorrows not only in my todays.

Other times my hopes are dashed because I’m sure I know the right solution. Surely God and I are on the same page. This must be God’s will. My prayers reflect my limited understanding and my selfish desires.

I quickly forget that “The secret things belong to the LORD our God…”  (Deuteronomy 29:29). Secrets usually lead to something good. I need to be willing to let God have secrets. He will reveal His good plan in His good time. My hope need to rest in God, not my changed circumstances.

Hard things are still hard. In the midst of the hard I need to remember:
  • “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you” Psalm 39:7
  • “… we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2 - Isn't this what I want?
  • “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
Hope, rather than being something elusive, can be an anchor. In ancient times anchors, like those that hold the ships secure, were a metaphor picturing that which keeps my soul secure. Spera in Deo; hope in God are the words inscribed on this anchor that sits in a prominent spot on the campus of my alma mater, Hope College, where I began to learn about placing my hope in God. Psalm 42:5.

“But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:21-23

1 comment:

  1. Once again this is just what I need! In the midst of our house hunt (from Jax airport because our flight was cancelled yesterday) we discovered a new house that just came on the market that seems perfect for us for only $900 a month. Talk about excitement!!! But then Jim just discovered it's a mistake and the rent is $1900 right as I read your Facebook message. And it was like God saying "Don't put your hope in a certain house Deb - keep it in me!" And then reading what you wrote on here so ministered to my heart. Oh Sue, thank you so much for writing and letting Him speak through you!